Thursday, September 09, 2004

Unexpected Hits

1. Apparently this site comes up on the second page of Yahoo! searches for "philosophy of lesbianism". I'm afraid I know nothing of the subject; the reason I rank so high is 1) Yahoo! likes weblogs; 2) this is a weblog devoted largely to philosophy; 3) I wrote a post about lesbianism in Coleridge's Christabel (arguing that, while interpreting the poem in terms of lesbianism is valid, it is not the only possible interpretation). Incidentally, that would probably not be the best search to find out about the philosophy of lesbianism. I would recommend "gender criticism, lesbian".

2. I have been astonished, since I moved Houyhnhnm Land, at how popular a search term "houyhnhnm" is. I suppose more people read the fourth book of Gulliver's Travels than I thought. It currently accounts for 42% of H.L.'s referring search strings.

3. I was surprised to get so many hits for Margaret Cavendish (not a huge number, but then, I don't get a huge number of hits from search engines). She says some interesting things, but I would have said that of all the philosophers I've listed at H.L. she would be the least interesting. But she's the most requested. I suppose it's for the same reason it was so easy to find links for her; she's at the intersection of several different studies, and their combined trickles make for a little more than any of the other women get. Plus, H.L. is currently #9 for Yahoo! (again, it's because Yahoo! likes weblogs; on MSN it's near the top of the second page; on Google it doesn't come up until page 16.)

4. I received a search engine hit here at Siris for "superata tellus". This is part of Boethius's famous line in the Consolation of Philosophy: Superata tellus sidera donat (4M7.34). I used it (or a modification of it, I don't remember) as a title for a post; if they were looking for a translation, they didn't find it. It's actually rather difficult to translate; at least, it's difficult to translate and keep the same effect. Literally, it's just along the lines of "The earth overcome gives the stars", which isn't all that impressive. My best suggestion would be: The earth transcended, the stars are given. I don't have any verse translations by scholars on hand to compare, since the library is closed and my own Riverside edition is in a box in Texas, and all the translations online are prose. (Someone also needs to put Chaucer's Boece on-line. I was very annoyed not to find it.)

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